Relative paths in .desktop files

David Faure faure at
Thu Jun 23 06:30:39 PDT 2011

On Thursday 23 June 2011, you wrote:
> If you just want to give the script an icon, you can embed
> the icon in the script, and write a thumbnailer for it.
> IMHO, having "" in the folder is enough.
> Having "", "run_me.desktop", and "run_me.png" in the folder
> won't increase usability.
> There are several ways to embed an icon in a script file. Just apend
> it to the end of file, or encode it with base64 or some others. Then
> having a thumbnailer decode such thing won't be too difficult. By
> adding a comment line containing specific strings in the script,
> during mime-type sniffing, it's easy to recognize this kind of file
> with mime-type magic rules.

You know, not everyone is a developer. I am, but most people just want the 
*simplest* way to create an "icon" shortcut which launches something.

Think of the usability for the creator of the shortcut too, not only the 
usability for the end user (who just clicks on something anyway).

Writing a thumbnailer, or encoding an icon with base64, is nowhere as simple 
as writing out with a text editor (or a standard properties dialog)

KISS :-)

If some desktops want to also offer something at a higher-level that's fine, but 
not everything should need a GUI, in the Unix world. There's a strong use case 
for being able to do things from a command-line, in text mode, as well.

David Faure, faure at,
Sponsored by Nokia to work on KDE, incl. Konqueror (

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